Sunday, January 26, 2014

Winter Tripyramids 1/25/14

Working title: "Hardy" or "Hearty"

Peaks: North Tripyramid, Middle Tripyramid

Trails: Pine Bend Brook Trail, Mt. Tripyramid Trail

Mileage/time: 9.6 miles, 3483' of gain, book time of 6:33, actual time of 6:50

A couple of bitter cold days passed by, and with the temperatures at elevation forecast to be in the low teens, I figured I'd go back to tackle these beasts. I'd originally planned to go up and back on Sabbaday Brook Trail (my new nemesis), but some late breaking news about the crossings led me to take the other way. During my drive, the morning dawned, but clouds hung to the north.

I met up with Sandi, Leslie, and Banjo (the dog), at 8, on time, but what I consider late. Gearing up, we started up. Pine Bend Brook Trail is one that I've only descended, before today, and I found it to be an enjoyable ascent. Though it was cold down low, in the single digits at the start, we were protected from the wind until we hit the ridge. Most of our crossings were frozen, and the ice was putting on a show.

Beyond the wilderness boundary (mmm, Sandwich), we were caught by the gentleman we saw pull up as we started, a nice guy named Randall. We adopted him, and he hiked with us for the rest of the day. Climbing more steeply, the trail enters the base of a small ravine, and makes for the ridge. Along the way, were some openings, that allowed for some filtered views.


Framed Presidents
More steeps, and some ice followed, with spikes adequate for traction. Then came the wind. We had been protected thus far, but once we reached the main ridge, we were at its mercy, for most of our hike along it. Everyone else had been switching layers on and off, but I'd been comfortable in mine, even stopped (which is weird). That's when I got called "hardy" or "hearty", I can't be sure which. I did end up putting on my outer mittens, but that was all it took, pretty toasty considering the temps. Maybe that jump in the ocean did something? We soon reached the summit of North Tripyramid, where it was windy, and snowing lightly, obscuring our views.

A very brief break, and we stayed on the ridge toward Middle Tripyramid. Banjo wasn't happy when we stopped for any length of time, and I think the cold and wind got to him. He was better once we were off the ridge. Middle Tripyramid came up quickly, and the views were more obscured than before. Our summit stay was again, very short.

South Tripyramid from near Middle
We beat a fairly hasty retreat, back over North Tripyramid, and down. Spreading out a bit, on the steeps, mostly to keep moving, we regrouped in the ravine. The rest of the descent went very quickly, conversations flowed, and I removed a pesky blowdown (that I'd broken the tip of my saw off in on the way up).

Getting back to the cars, a half inch of snow had accumulated, and was picking up. We all met back up at the Woodstock Station, and had some celebratory beers and eats. Here's to new friends and old, thanks to all four of you (gotta get Banjo in there) for a great day! Then began what turned into a three hour drive home for me. It snowed fairly heavily almost my entire drive back, and the going was super slow. That's what can happen when you're hiking in the mountains.

These make numbers 42 and 43, for the Winter 48... only 5 to go!

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